In 1990 a high school art teacher in Michigan helped his students solve a problem.  They were searching for a way to raise funds to support a food drive.  What evolved was a class project to make ceramic bowls for a fund raising meal.  Guests were served a simple meal of soup and bread, and were invited to keep the bowl as a reminder of hunger in the world.

By the following year the originators had developed this concept into Empty Bowls, a project to provide support for food banks, soup kitchens, and other organizations that fight hunger.  The Imagine /RENDER Group, a 501(c)3 organization, was created to promote the project.  Since then Empty Bowls events have been held throughout the world, and millions of dollars have been raised to combat hunger.

Empty Bowls Portage County was started in 2001 by the Hunger Prevention Partnership.  The Hunger Prevention Partnership was formed in October 2000, after the first Portage County Hunger Summit.  Its focus was expanded in 2006 to include poverty issues.  The Partnership includes individuals from the public and private sector, as well as involvement from the consumers themselves. Our mission is to proactively identify issues of hunger and poverty and address short- and long-term solutions.

As a participant of our event, you will also select a hand-painted and /or -crafted ceramic bowl designed by professional potters, school and university art classes, sample delicious soup and bread from local chefs while listening to live music – all of which will be donated.  As in Michigan, you will take the bowls home as a reminder that